I met Lisa Kim at an industry event in NYC earlier this year and was immediately drawn to her and her designs. Lisa makes bold jewelry for strong women. Many brands use a statement like that as a slogan, but Lisa let's her jewelry speak for itself, and it does. Below are interview questions that Lisa was kind enough to answer.
I draw. I don't always start with the jewelry right away. I love to draw women (especially their faces) and I will do that first to capture an idea a woman before I build a jewelry story around her. When I get to the jewelry itself, I will draw multiple iterations of a design and select the drawing that speaks strongest to me.
Strong women. I see them all around me every day - I know so many of them in my network of family and friends.
I grew up reading myths and fantasy stories. I always identified with heroes (male or female) who had to face their challenges and be transformed by them. I think myths continue to appeal to modern audiences because the hero archetype is to be found everywhere in human history regardless of space and time - there are heroes now like there were eons ago. I love the idea that a regular person like you or me can choose to rise to an occasion and become someone greater than before. Heavens knows that we can't be that way all the time - we are human, after all - but I love this transformation. I do what I do to externalize this transformation and to remind women of their innate power.
Which piece in your collection is your favorite?
The Moonstone Shield Ring. It's a statement ring produced by a mix of casting and fabrication. The birds and the shank are cast, while the bezel and the sun and feather motifs on the gallery are sawed, pierced and formed by hand from sheet metal. It is difficult to capture in one single photograph because it looks so different from each angle. I love it for its level of detail and its dangerous elegance.
When not designing, what do you like to do?
Anything that will take me away from the macro world I live in at the drawing table and the bench - hiking in the mountains, riding my bike at the beach, walking my dog (editor's note: Lisa's dog is a cute little chi-weenie). I love museums, gallery openings, cooking, and discovering new places in my travels. I also really enjoy nice restaurants and nightlife. When you're designing, you're constantly outputting so it's important to refill your tank and stay fresh. As we all know it can be hard to make the time for rest and recreation, but it's so important.
Who are your favorite artists / designers?
The list is really long! The illustrations of Yoshitaka Amano really captured my imagination when I was a kid. I love the women that appear in the works of John William Waterhouse, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Alfons Mucha. Antonio Gaudí is simply unforgettable. And there are the sci-fi and fantasy illustrators: Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, Brom, Barry Windsor-Smith, P. Craig Russell. Thierry Mugler, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, and Gareth Pugh rock my world! And my favorite jewelry designers are Lauren Harper, Annie Fensterstock, Jacquie Aiche, Irene Neuwirth, and Nak Armstrong.
Current favorite album: Feel It Break (Deluxe Version) by Austra. It's an otherworldly album with haunting vocals and I can't get enough of it. My favorite tracks are "Darken Her Horse," "Lose It," "The Villain," and "The Beast." I listen to these songs obsessively as I work.
Recent read: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westerns and The Game of Thrones.
See more designs and learn more about this amazing designer here.